Light Reading
The deal, which has yet to be announced, gives Intel thermally-tuned, polymer-enhanced grating technology

Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets

Light Reading
NFOEC News Analysis
Light Reading
9/17/2002
50%
50%

DALLAS -- NFOEC -- News has leaked out that Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has bought the assets of yet another tunable laser company, Sparkolor Corp.

Jerry R. Bautista, director of technology and strategic marketing for Intel's photonics group, confirmed the news at the NFOEC show yesterday. He says Intel will announce the deal officially in the next few days.

Financial details were not disclosed, but it appears not to have been an outright acquisition. According to sources, Intel has purchased Sparkolor's intellectual property and hired some of its technical staff. The other assets of the company, including all its sales and marketing people, were not included in the deal.

Intel already has its own internally developed tunable laser technology, along with the tunable laser business of New Focus Inc. (Nasdaq: NUFO), which it scooped up in May this year, raising questions about how Sparkolor's technology will fit in with Intel's other optical acquisitions (see Intel Scoops Up New Focus Laser Unit).

According to Bautista, Intel is buying Sparkolor for its grating technology rather than its tunable lasers. "Sparkolor had some very interesting technology for thermally-tuned, polymer-enhanced gratings," he says.

More details of this technology are described in a patent that Light Reading unearthed last year (see Sparkolor Secrets Surface). Sparkolor had developed a thermally-tuned laser with the tuning section manufactured out of glass (silica). Glass is ideal for this application because its refractive index properties change strongly with temperature. However, adjacent sections of glass, which do not need tuning, will also be affected by the heat. Sparkolor's big idea was to use a polymer layer with an opposite refractive index change to compensate for the thermal effects in places where they were not desired.

Intel could use this kind of technology to make tunable filters and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers, or simply to temperature-stabilize glass-based optical components.

But while the technology sounds interesting, it is largely unproven. While companies both large and small have evangelized the properties of polymers, none has really had success in bringing polymer technology to market.

Sparkolor's investors included Optical Capital Group, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Storm Ventures.

Intel is still shopping for other startups, judging by remarks made by Gordon Hunter, general manager of Intel's optical products group, at last week's European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At a dinner in the Tivoli Gardens, Hunter acknowledged that Intel still has some gaps in its optical component portfolio, and eventually (after some needling by Light Reading) he named two of them -- lasers and MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems). Sparkolor doesn't really fall into either of these categories.

— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:52 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Damn. Sure seems like Intel is thinking long term. Does anyone not believe that optical will one day return with a vengeance? When that happens, it looks like Intel will be right there. I'm amazed that Intel is able to operate with such a long term focus. Most companies are jettisoning assets that don't make money RIGHT NOW...

Any Intel employees out there? Is Intel really a smart company, or just lucky? Their track record is long enough that I'm starting believe the latter.
gea
50%
50%
gea,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:52 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Damn. Sure seems like Intel is thinking long term. Does anyone not believe that optical will one day return with a vengeance? When that happens, it looks like Intel will be right there. I'm amazed that Intel is able to operate with such a long term focus. Most companies are jettisoning assets that don't make money RIGHT NOW...

Any Intel employees out there? Is Intel really a smart company, or just lucky? Their track record is long enough that I'm starting believe the latter.
LightBeating
50%
50%
LightBeating,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:45 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Gea,

They look smart. They haven't made too many "crazy" (meaning $B+) acquisitions, liek everybody else during (and even after) the bubble. Rather, they go out there and scoop up the technology and good technical people from failed startups, at very low prices, and have a strong (albeit discreet) internal R&D program in optics. Yes, they could surprise everyone when the time comes.

LB
slhardy
50%
50%
slhardy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:44:33 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
I think both. Strategy and luck are a good thing these days.
curious__george
50%
50%
curious__george,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:44:19 PM
re: Intel Buys Sparkolor's Assets
Yes, as an employee I can honestly say that the senior management "gets it". They do understand that the CPU business ($6B/qtr rev!) is impacted positively by bringing more bandwidth to the desktop. As such they support the long term objective of building an optical infrastructure. Further, they also understand that we cannot grow quickly enought organically and need to be aggressive in the marketplace through acquisitions and partnerships. It's not all rosey however, success in the CPU business does not necessarily mean success in photonics. The company must be flexible and be able to adjust to the very different photonics market. This is not easy for career Intel types.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed